Justin & Christian Martin
Straying away from their usual format the White Rabbit Group hosted a Dirtybird Record Label party last night at the Yost Theater featuring the deep grooves of Justin Martin and Christian Martin along with the resident DJs at Focus Tuesdays (the local house joint right here in Orange County). The Bay Area brothers allowed us to tag along with them both during and after the show for a night that was unparalleled and special to what we normally see in Santa Ana. After lots of beer, dancing and after party madness we are still trying to piece together the evening as we cure our massive hangover.
The Focus crew which includes Nonfiction, Wobs and Josh Billings played a unique back to back opening set to warm up the crowd as the room began to fill with house heads, burners and dance music aficionados up until a little past 11p.m. The guys did an awesome job of syncing together to splice deep house and tech house tracks in seamless fashion for this 18 and over crowd, much like they do at Focus in Newport Beach every Tuesday. Our favorite was a Pablo Fierro track titled "I Want It" which had us grooving as we knocked back a few beers and waited for the Martin brothers to arrive.
Right before Christian Martin took the stage we went to the green room where there was a meet-and-greet with our OC Weekly contest winner Ali Jafari who just so happens to run Control + Alt + Delight, a music blog based out of Orange County. The guys were extremely sociable as Ali and his blog mates asked them questions while sharing a couple of Pacifico's. Justin recently came back from The BPM Festival in Playa Del Carmen and he was sharing stories of drinking a cerveza on the sand while enjoying the best music in the world. It was only fitting that we would be drinking Mexican beer.
Christian Martin must have read our opening DJ codes or just traveled the world as a seasoned veteran DJ because he did an impressive job of playing just enough bass to reel the crowd in, yet never upstaging his brother. It wasn't until the last 15 minutes that you could really tell Christian is one of the original members of Dirtybird as their signature whistles and sounds resonated through the massive sound system. By this time the crowd, which was lubed up and ready for some booty clap remixes and ass shaking bass that rattles your spine. The room was dark like the corners of a European nightclub and the lasers and giant LED wall scenes were kept to a bare minimum. Raw and dirty was the vibe of the night - a much needed break from the glow sticking untz untz bottle service scene we are used to here.
In the darkness, a smilingJustin Martinplayed a medley of mind-expanding house music. The best part about this party was that it was little about track lists and more about feeling the music as you danced along with a stranger. As the alcohol flowed those strangers got closer and the sexy vocals of his original "Don't Go" from 2012's Ghettos and Gardens encouraged dancing couples to get all PDA on us. Throughout the set, Martin worked with melodic deep sounds translate onto the dance floor and cry out for a positive vibe. He even dropped a drum & bass inspired song which blended masterfully which ignited a truly unique dance party. Towards the end he disappeared from the DJ booth and came back with a bottle of Grey Goose which he gave to the crowd. A true party man, he was downing drinks and shots throughout his entire set.
After the set, Martin and his crew took the party to a friend's house nearby in Orange. He shared his excitement for this gig was mostly because of the friends that came out that he doesn't get to see often due to a rigorous tour schedule. "It's just really nice to have your friends and family here," said Justin. "It makes it that much more fun when you have a whole posse to go out with and get crazy." During the party, we were surprised (and somewhat relieved) that Martin's definition of crazy consisted of pretty normal shit-- ping-pong, chugging beers and swapping sponsored t-shirts that they received in the evening.
Critical Bias: Surprised that White Rabbit booked an all house night we couldn't be happier to see a strong turnout as an affirmation that there is a large house scene in OC.
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Crowd: Of course the Focus regulars, house heads, burners dressed up in full playa gear, ravers and apparently lots of Dirtybird friends.
Overheard in the Crowd: "This crowd is definitely different than the usual bottle rats and electro tweens."
Random Notebook Dump: We found it hilarious that Wobs gifted Justin a pair of pizza socks which he put on right in front of everyone. For those who don't know Justin claims pizza as one of his band interests on his Facebook page.